Fort Verde State Historic Park, Camp Verde

4.6
State Park · Historic Site
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Fort Verde State Historic Park in the town of Camp Verde, Arizona is a small park that attempts to preserve parts of the Apache Wars-era fort as it appeared in the 1880s. The park was established in 1970 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places a year later.

Fort Verde was established at its current location in 1871. It is significant as "the best preserved and least altered of any military post associated with General Crook’s 1872-73 campaign against the northern Apaches."
Settlers in the mid-19th century near the Verde River grew corn and other crops with the prospect of getting good prices from nearby Prescott, which was the territorial capital, and from nearby miners. The rapid increase in population for the mining economy disrupted the hunting and gathering environments of the local Native American tribes, the Dilzhe'e Apache and Yavapai. In turn, they raided the farmers' crops for food.

The farmers requested military protection from the United States Army and, in 1865, although Arizona was still only a territory, the infantry arrived. They set up several posts over the next few years:

1865, a small camp five miles (8 km) south of what is today Camp Verde.

1866-1871, Camp Lincoln, a mile north of today's Fort Verde.

1871-1873, Camp Verde, built gradually from 1871 to 1873.

1879, Camp Verde, renamed Fort Verde

1891, Fort Verde abandoned

1899, sold at public auctionAfter approximately 1,500 local natives were placed on a reservation by 1872, the army's role changed from protecting the settlers to ensuring that the Indians stayed on the reservation. The last major military engagement with uprising natives took place in 1882 at the Battle of Big Dry Wash.

The fort was never enclosed by walls or stockades, and it never saw fighting on site. At its height, it consisted of twenty-two buildings, only four of which survived until 1956, when local citizens created a small museum in the administration building. They later donated the buildings and ten acres (40,000 m²) as a State Park.

Some of the buildings were built with pice, which is large adobe slabs cast within wooden frames, rather than assembled from the more familiar individual adobe bricks.

A visit to Fort Verde State Historic Park represents just the start of the adventure when you use our Camp Verde travel planner to plot your vacation.
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Fort Verde State Historic Park reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
438 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • I've lived in the Verde Valley for 18 years and finally made a trip to Fort Verde on October 25 with friends visiting from NH. Upon arrival we were greeted by Ben Uribe. Ben was very informative... 
    I've lived in the Verde Valley for 18 years and finally made a trip to Fort Verde on October 25 with friends visiting from NH. Upon arrival we were greeted by Ben Uribe. Ben was very informative...  more »
  • I wasn’t told much about Native American history in school but it was good to see and learn about how Indians of this era became guides for the early settlers and some were even given metals of honor....  more
    I wasn’t told much about Native American history in school but it was good to see and learn about how Indians of this era became guides for the early settlers and some were even given metals of honor....  more »
  • My friend and I visited before the opening time and the women let us in. They were both informative and even sent curriculum to my email to look at when I arrived home. We went outside first, as it... 
    My friend and I visited before the opening time and the women let us in. They were both informative and even sent curriculum to my email to look at when I arrived home. We went outside first, as it...  more »
Google
  • You know a state park is enjoyable when both kids said they would love to go back. We all enjoyed the lengthy museum followed by a walk around the grounds which included the officer quarters, jail and many more historic buildings. The rangers here love their job and made sure we had a great time.
  • The Ft. Verde Days celebration is exceptional. Great variety of activities, a lot of informative and historical opportunities along with vendors and entertainment.
  • Very interesting place to visit. The visitors center person was very nice and informative. They keep the fort nice and clean. Thank you
  • Neat place. Lots of interesting facts. Still have three of the original structures left on the premises.
  • A very historic fort. When I arrived two gentlemen dressed in uniform was playing a happy birthday tune to a lady visiting. So sweet. The place is well kept with very sweet informative people. Debbie and Larry also went out of their way as when I started to leave my truck wouldn’t start. They took the time to give me a jump and sent me on my way with a smile and a pat for my dog.

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